HMRC finds £3 million of tobacco inside illegal factory
- Credit: Archant
Tobacco worth £3 million and £12,000 in cash were seized in a raid at an illegal processing factory near Wisbech that was suspected to be under the control of an organised crime gang.
Officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), assisted by police from Norfolk Constabulary, seized 9.3 tonnes of tobacco, including 1.2 tonnes of processed tobacco, which was found in a van that was stopped leaving the factory.
Machinery involved in the manufacture of tobacco was also dismantled and removed from the property when HMRC launched their search operation at the site on July 14.
Adam Kingsgate, assistant director for HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said: “Cheap cigarettes come at a cost, as they often fund organised crime and other illegal activity that causes real harm to our communities, such as drugs, guns and human trafficking. “Smugglers are criminals who don’t care who they sell to, including children.
“That’s why disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market.
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“We encourage anyone with information regarding the smuggling, storage or sale of illegal tobacco to report it to HMRC online.”
No arrests were made and enquiries are continuing.
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Information about any type of tobacco or tax fraud can also be reported to HMRC online at www.gov.uk/report-an-unregistered-trader-or-business